This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Winston Blackmore's statements on polygamy in Canada drew a lot of attention this week.
Blackmore, 59, who lives in the community of Bountiful in Lister, British Columbia, made the comments July 29 at the Sunstone Salt Lake Symposium. I was in the audience, prepared to ask Blackmore about the United Effort Plan in Canada, and wasn't recording his lecture. When he made the statements during the question and answer session, I scribbled them as best I could.
This week, one of the symposium organizers, Lindsay Hansen Park, provided me an audio recording. (Purchase your copy at: www.sunstonemagazine.com/purchase-audio) Blackmore's statements about the legality of polygamy in Canada begin at 48 minutes 55 seconds.
Here's some more quotes from Blackmore:
Someone from the audience asked what Blackmore's group does about having too many boys and not enough girls to marry.
"There's not ever as many boys interested in plural marriage as there is girls," Blackmore said.
Blackmore then told a quick story about how two women from New York, one Jewish and the other mainstream LDS, showed up at his home wanting Blackmore to find someone to marry both of them and support them while they gave birth and raised children.
"They loved each other," Blackmore said. "I'm not interested in exploiting those girls."
Blackmore didn't say whether he complied with the pair's request.
Blackmore also said his group keeps the boy-girl balance through relationships with other polygamous communities. He didn't specify which.
"We're connected to quite a few other groups, and thankfully so because our boys are marrying those girls," Blackmore said.
Then Blackmore came back to the danger of exploiting women.
"If I was the prime minister of Canada, I would never make polygamy legal," Blackmore said. "And those suckers are after me by day and by night. I've got to go another round with them.
"And I would never do that because it is so easily a principle that can be exploited for the wrong reason."
The "that" is legalize polygamy.
Blackmore went on to describe his almost-decade-long legal battles with the Canadian and provincial government. He contended that the definition of common-law marriages has been changed or re-interpreted to prosecute him and to deny government benefits to his wives and children.
He said he and his wives are officially declared as friends.
"We just are friends," Blackmore said. "And yet they still charge us with polygamy."